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Thread: Question: California open carry & school distances

  1. #1
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    Question Question: California open carry & school distances

    Hello,

    I'm aware of the open carry laws regarding schools (no less than 1000 ft) but I have some questions. I would assume that the following two statements are true. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    1. Persons who live in a residence within 1000 ft of a school are not allowed to walk outside of their house and open carry (ie taking a walk at night time with your gun holstered would be illegal since you would essentially be within 1000 ft of a school while leaving/entering your house).

    2. Persons who wish to open carry (for example down at the local starbucks) but live within 1000 ft. of a school must secure their weapon and ammo in a locked case (separate), transport it to the local starbucks, put everything on, take everything off, put it back in the locked case, transport it home.

    I just want to make sure I completely understand the law around this particular scenario since I live down the street from a jr high school (less than 1000 ft).

    Thanks,

    -Sean (Fremont, CA)

  2. #2
    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter
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    I believe your understanding is correct.

  3. #3
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    Ask your question in the California state forum because the details of a GFSZ are in state statute. Maybe the incredibly busy administrator would move this thread to the California forum.

  4. #4
    Regular Member Nevada carrier's Avatar
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    By federal law you are not permitted within 1000 feet of a school with a firearm. But in a state like Nevada where that rule is not also a state law, it's up to the feds to enforce it, unless the local police want to file charges with the US attorney's office, transport you to the federal detention center and appear in federal court. Here in Nevada, local and state police would rather not get involved in that if it's the sole charge, however it's not unheard of for prosecutors to charge someone with everything under the sun; this gets them more to bargain with when the attorneys are making plea agreements.

  5. #5
    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nevada carrier View Post
    By federal law you are not permitted within 1000 feet of a school with a firearm. But in a state like Nevada where that rule is not also a state law, it's up to the feds to enforce it, unless the local police want to file charges with the US attorney's office, transport you to the federal detention center and appear in federal court. Here in Nevada, local and state police would rather not get involved in that if it's the sole charge, however it's not unheard of for prosecutors to charge someone with everything under the sun; this gets them more to bargain with when the attorneys are making plea agreements.
    U.S. Code makes no mention of this (1000 feet rule). It does mention "school zone", but does not define exactly what that is. Here in Virginia, one can walk down a sidewalk next to a school with their firearm open for all to see. And you do not have to have a permit with you to do this.

    However, I would like to know exactly where the "1000 foot rule" is specified and how it relates or defines a school zone. Does anyone have the particulars about this?
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

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    Per 921(a)

    (25) The term “school zone” means—
    (A) in, or on the grounds of, a public, parochial or private school; or
    (B) within a distance of 1,000 feet from the grounds of a public, parochial or private school.

  7. #7
    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Per 921(a)
    Thank you.

    I have always referred to U.S. Code 18,922 for these particulars. Now I know that it is in 18,921 where one must look to find the definitions. I'm going to have to read through this when I have a moment.

    Of course, 922 does make clear that the 1000 foot rule does not apply to those who have been issued a permit. And you don't even have to have the permit with you, unless you are carrying concealed. Open carry is fully allowed up to school's property line (I wouldn't personally stand a foot or two away while watching kids on an athletic field with my piece hanging on my side, however. Not a sane move). So unless a state has its own laws regarding distance and school zones, the federal law has no effect if you are permitted in your state and the school is in your state.

    I understand that this federal law was overturned at one time, after its passage during the Clinton administration. Any info on that, by chance?
    Last edited by SouthernBoy; 07-09-2010 at 08:14 AM.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by seanlee View Post
    Hello,

    I'm aware of the open carry laws regarding schools (no less than 1000 ft) but I have some questions. I would assume that the following two statements are true. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    1. Persons who live in a residence within 1000 ft of a school are not allowed to walk outside of their house and open carry (ie taking a walk at night time with your gun holstered would be illegal since you would essentially be within 1000 ft of a school while leaving/entering your house).

    2. Persons who wish to open carry (for example down at the local starbucks) but live within 1000 ft. of a school must secure their weapon and ammo in a locked case (separate), transport it to the local starbucks, put everything on, take everything off, put it back in the locked case, transport it home.

    I just want to make sure I completely understand the law around this particular scenario since I live down the street from a jr high school (less than 1000 ft).

    Thanks,

    -Sean (Fremont, CA)
    Correct on both.

    But on #2. Unloaded firearm and ammo can be in the same locked container, as long as the ammo is not in the firearm (no loaded magazine in mag well, bullets in cylinder, bullets in tubular magazine, etc.)

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    Theseus was convicted for violating the CA school zone law despite being on private property at the time, even though the law provides an exception for being on private property.

    Therefore, you should proceed at your own risk because there is seemingly no guarantee in California that some courts will not simply ignore the written words of the law, at least when it comes to that exception. It also appears from his case that when the law says that "if you know or should know" you are within 1000 feet, that those words probably also have no meaning to some courts. Even the police did not at the time of interaction with him know that he was within 1000 feet, yet they still found him guilty. I wonder how they can expect a regular person to have known he was within 1000 feet when more than one police officer did not know it until a later date.

    I believe Theseus is trying to appeal his case.
    Last edited by Felid`Maximus; 07-10-2010 at 12:42 PM.

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